NEW YORK – An American doctor treating victims of the Syrian civil war in an Israeli field hospital in the Golan Heights was wounded Tuesday night when shots fired from across the border hit the hospital.
The incident was being investigated as “possible stray fire,” the IDF spokesman’s unit said.
“A few hours ago, shots were fired towards a field hospital that is part of Operation Good Neighbor in the southern Golan heights, adjacent to the border on the Syrian side,” the statement said. “As a result, a foreign staff member was very lightly injured and was treated at the scene.”
Israel has maintained a policy of neutrality in the bitter civil war ravaging its neighbor, but has admitted that it treats victims who arrive at the border. More than 600 Syrian children have been treated in the past year alone. Operation Good Neighbor is a large-scale multi-faceted humanitarian relief operation initiated by the IDF to provide basic medical care, food and clothing to thousands of Syrians living along the border.
The program includes the establishment of medical clinics within Syria itself, to be supervised by both locals and employees from international NGOs.
There have been multiple incidents of accidental spillover into Israeli terrain since the war broke out, with stray mortar and gunfire landing in the Golan Heights. Israel has made it clear that the Syrian army would be held responsible for all spillover and the IDF would retaliate by striking Syrian targets.